By Sarah Begley
January 11, 2017

Donald Trump’s team addressed concerns about his potential conflicts of interest on Wednesday by saying he would donate all money spent by foreign governments on bills at his hotels to the U.S. Treasury.

Sheri Dillon, an attorney with Morgan Lewis who has worked with the Trump team to structure his new business arrangements, said that the Emoluments Clause in the U.S. Constitution did not apply to hotel bills, but he would take steps anyway to avoid profiting from any foreign officials choosing to book rooms in his hotels. “He is going to voluntarily donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotels to the U.S. Treasury,” she said. “This way it is the American people who profit.”

The Emoluments Clause specifies that “no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” Dillon said that the Constitution does not require Trump to take this action, but that he wants to “do more than what the Constitution requires.”

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